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For five years, Russian poet Arkadii Dragomoshchenko and American poet Lyn Hejinian exchanged letters filled with stories about their personal lives, their separate cultures, and their different political worlds.
Many of their discussions revolved around a word list they'd each been given by the film's director Jacki Ochs. In 1983, Hejinian and Ochs had visited Dragomoshchenko's Soviet Union apartment with a small group of other Americans.
The film focuses on the two poets' platonic friendship, lingering aspects of the Cold War, and foreboding events involving the Soviet Union's future.